Follow up to the post In to the Mars – Neck breaking Opportunity.
On last Friday (27th) challenge kit for the Robotics and algorithms round 2 was released. As it was expected this is re-launch of Mars challenge that was held as part of Robochamps league. But this time the simulation environment is more responsive and the task is bit more spiced up with collecting the data from rocks using a spectrometer.
The sensors we have access includes color Navigation camera, Panoramic camera installed on the ‘head’ of the rover and two B&W hazard avoidance cameras on front and rear of the rover. Spectrometer which is in fact physically a touch sensor and a comlink which can be used to obtain the Pan, roll and pitch of the Rover as well as GPS location and some mission details (Positions of navigation areas)
The drives available includes Horizontal and vertical rotation of head, A Six wheel differential drive, articulated arm on which the spectrometer is attached on the end.
The objective is to navigate trough the given 6 points. Analyze a rock from each area and reach the heat shield. The navigation includes descending into the crater as well similar to the real Opportunity mission at Endurance crater.
The navigation points are obtainable from the comlink interface however the position that the heat shield dropped is bit of random and cannot be known for certain. So it ultimately becomes a wild goose chase to find out the heat shield. Even though it is said to be near the last selected point in practice it appeared to be near means almost half across the map.
With few days of experiments and coding I was able to come up with a solution that could navigate all the points successfully and analyze the required data. However I would certainly have to improve this solution with better algorithms and more reliability and or adaptability over the time. But no problem I have plenty of time left even till the challenge officially start on 20th of April.
[Posted using Windows Live Writer on Windows 7 Beta]